Fishbowl Demo Impression – Prologue of Memories

Whether you stay where you are or uproot your life and relocate entirely, sometimes it’s hard to truly move on. In Fishbowl, developed and published by, you play as Alo, a young woman struggling to overcome the death of her grandmother. This short demo starts with a content warning for “grief, death, loneliness, and isolation,” and while you don’t experience all of these themes right now, you do get a strong hint of what’s to come.

In Fishbowl, Alo’s recently moved into her own apartment, and her mother sends her a parcel with her grandmother’s belongings. To unpack them, you have to move them around in a sliding puzzle, though items sometimes overlap and it’s not so difficult to do. One of these items is a fishbowl toy, which Alo decides to keep on display for now.

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Some dialogue options in a pretty little apartment.

You learn a little bit more about Alo through the night and are set free to explore the apartment. Just about everything is interactive, in the sense that Alo has something to say about it or she can use it almost endlessly. It’s usually the former. There’s a simple mini-game for Alo’s job, where you use the arrow keys to match the correct buttons together.

The music from the mini-game was quite fun, and I enjoyed the game itself! I hope to see more mini-games in the full release. After you’re done for the day, you can head to bed where Alo has a dream, and after her dream sequence, the prologue and demo end.

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Gooorgeous pixel art!

Towards the end of the prologue is when the darker themes really come out, with Alo remembering her grandmother’s death. Visually, Fishbowl does a great job of representing someone struggling, stuck inside their heads. Everyone deals with grief differently, and Alo’s way is thinking of happy memories from when she was a child.

While Fishbowl’s gorgeous pixelated art style caught my attention before playing the demo, for once, it was the music that grabbed me once inside. The calming soundtrack mixed with repetitive, airy dings and a constant thrum of rainfall immediately set the mood. There were always immersive noises happening; pausing the game deafens the sounds around you, but keeps them going. A perfect little detail.

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It’s not all sunshine and rainbows…

While playing, there are a few times that you’re given two options, whether it’s for dialogue or while interacting with something. Many of the options don’t feel like options—they’re both geared towards the same tone or ending. If you want to take a nap, for example, you can’t because of option a: one reason, or option b: another reason. If someone asks you how your job is going, you either don’t know how you got the job or you’re positive you’re going to screw it up. I do appreciate having a choice at all, but it would be more meaningful if they felt a little separate from each other, especially personality-wise. Keep in mind, though, that this is only a prologue, and for many prologues, not having real options is the norm.

While I hope to see more diversity in choices made, I’m excited to see how this game progresses, and what other memories Alo has to share.

Inanna played Fishbowl on PC with a review code.

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